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PreRace Napa: Part #2 No Longer Waiting for Joannie

Spent part of the afternoon at the Napa Valley Marathon expo hoping to get my 1984 Olympic Marathon picture signed by Joan Benoit Samuelson (see: for more details). Mission accomplished. She was a part of an excellent panel consisting of her, Bill Rodgers (see: for my history with Boston Billy), Dick Beardsley, and Guy Morse, so I was able to sneak up to chat with JBS afterward. It’s been a long time waiting…. “PLEASE sign this picture, Joannie, I’ve had it for years, it’s one of the few things that survived my ex’s pre-divorce trip to the dump. Duke the horse didn’t even survive that, much to my young son’s chagrin.” (just kidding, didn’t really say all of that)
Following the panel was the “keynote” chat by Joannie called, “Going the Distance.” Her biggest piece of advice to the marathoners in the room was, “Run your own race.” She also said a couple of other things I liked:
“You never know in the marathon what’s going to happen when the gun goes off. That’s why it’s like life.”  and 
“As long as we continue to surprise ourselves, we can do anything.”
The expo was small, but very nice. I picked up a few things I couldn’t resist. Mostly I just wandered around kind of soaking up the atmosphere of all those runners in one spot. Lots of energy being stored up for tomorrow. All in all, I didn’t stay long as I needed to get out on the Silverado Trail and look over the last eight miles of the course. As advertised, it’s mostly flat. I noticed a hill between 18 and 19 (nothing too imposing) and a VERY gradual rise from about 19 1/2 to 20. If things go reasonably well, they should not be noticeable (way to jinx that one, Rich).

Now, I’m back at the ranch awaiting the evening’s festivities with Linda’s family coming over for pre-race pasta. Pretty psyched. Feeling ready!

Below, Joannie talks about the post gold medal moments…